Monday, August 2, 2010

Pretty Pretty Jewelry From Wonderful Places

We mommy bloggers get a bunch of press releases we're encouraged to post, offers to borrow a new phone for a few weeks or some odd new snack for our child.  I'm in marketing so I certainly do not begrudge anyone trying to get publicity for their product, but that also doesn't mean I don't appreciate a worthy business with a beautiful product, not to mention a generous offer. 

You may have heard of Kiva, a microloan program helping to alleviate poverty around the world.  NOVICA, in association with National Geographic, combines that concept with an Etsy type platform, connecting buyers with artists and artisans around the world.  They have a loan program and the most beautiful handmade jewelrypaintings and home decor.  You can find artisans who's family have been in this business for years or generations, young woman who love to make beautiful pieces, from exotic locations like Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, for which I have a special place in my heart living in a house of soccer.  Each piece also seems to have a unique and interesting name.

I was given a generous gift certificate and encouraged to find something in the necklace section, although it wasn't mandatory.  Fine with me, boy was there a lot of absolutely gorgeous stuff to choose from.  What a fun task ahead of me, although at some point it was all too much, there is so much to choose from.

Check out these bright-colored necklaces from Brazil, these are small rolled up magazines.

From Thailand you can find some of the most vivid colors.

You can shop by material, by region, new items or most popular.  The website it beautiful and really easy to navigate.  One of the best parts is each artist tells their story, and each piece comes wrapped in unique packaging with a handwritten note.  You can also personalize your own site, add something to your wish list or email to a friend with a single click.  There's a gift finder and featured artists, everything you need for a pleasant experience.  And if an artist really touches your heart, you can make a small (or large) loan.  The whole site touched me so much I made a member page.

I finally chose three pieces.  I don't have a lot of jewelry but have been wearing more lately and I tried to find something fun and something more classic.  This is from a lovely woman in Peru, with geometric silver shapes and an unusual chain.  Appropriately, this is named "Pride" - simple and bold.

 Look at the adorable packaging.

I absolutely love this, and admit it reminded me of those superstar necklaces so popular last year.   It's a perfect length and makes be feel all cheery, and it's no wonder as it's called "Carnival" and is from Brazil.  More great packaging.

I also chose these sweet little earrings. Oddly, they came in a lovely box, but it was so packed with stuffing they barely fit. 

"Glistening Sophistication"

I loved everything I got, it was all high quality and unique, and could tell by the notes it was made with love and skill.  It may take me longer than to pick out the artisan I'd like to support with a loan, but that is my next step.

The disclosure part: I was provided with a $200 gift certificate to NOVICA but was under no obligation to post this review.  They suggested necklaces but gave me the option to purchase whatever I wanted.